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the continental: from the world of john wick

★★★

starring: colin woodell, mishel prada, nhung kate, and mel gibson

REVIEWER: lyall carter

Set in 1970s New York City, The Continental explores the origin of the iconic hotel-for-assassins centerpiece of the John Wick universe seen through the eyes and action of a young Winston Scott.

In 2014, a wholly original action flick launched a smash and grab on the box office, becoming a critical and commercial success and audience favourite. It was only a matter of time before John Wick entered the television streaming world in some form or other due to not only the fandom that it has elicited but a world that calls to be explored. 

 

While John Wick’s shadow looms large on proceedings, The Continental holds its own in this fight producing an engrossing, action stacked TV series. 

 

The three-part series explores the origin behind the iconic hotel-for-assassins, which is the centrepiece of the John Wick universe. The show will be seen through the eyes of a young Winston Scott, as he’s dragged into the hellscape of 1970s New York City to face a past he thought he’d left behind. Winston charts a deadly course through the hotel’s mysterious underworld in a harrowing attempt to seize the hotel where he will eventually take his throne.

 

Although we pretty much know how all of this is going to end, the joy to be found here is not only in that we get to explore more of the Wickverse (if that’s the right term) but the story and characters are engaging throughout. 

 

The Continental isn’t necessarily in the same vein of the John Wick films as this series turns its hand more to a heist tale. There are a number of narrative threads laid out before us that slowly criss-cross, with characters double crossing as they go. 

 

And while the action set pieces don’t have the flair and originality of the John Wick films, they are brutal to say the least with characters meeting their demise from everything from a shower of bullets to a cinema seat. 

 

The production design is superb with the set design and costume aesthetic plunging you deep into 1970’s New York with rubbish filled streets to boot. The cast is led wonderfully by the solid and affable Colin Woodell as a young Winston Scott with Mel Gibson’s menacing O’Connor worthy of mention.  

 

While John Wick’s shadow looms large on proceedings, The Continental holds its own in this fight producing an engrossing, action stacked TV series.

★★★

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